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Football: Cal-UW notebook

By Jeff Faraudo
Sunday, October 27th, 2013 at 2:29 am in Football, Gameday.

Cal’s new-look offensive line generally got thumbs-up marks Saturday night after the Bears’ 41-17 loss at Washington.

That’s not to say anyone was satisfied.

“I thought they played good at times,” coach Sonny Dykes said. “Obviously, we’ve got to continue to play better. I thought they were a little more physical than we have been.”

Dykes reshuffled his O-line during practice this week, shifting left guard Jordan Rigsbee to center, pulling freshman Chris Borrayo from his redshirt year to play left guard, and replacing left tackle Freddie Tagaloa with redshirt freshman Christian Okafor.

Quarterback Jared Goff thought the new group “did a really good job, especially Borrayo for his first game.”

Rigsbee also was upbeat. “I thought we played pretty well up front,” he said. “We definitely made improvements from the last couple of games.”

Still, Goff was sacked five times and the running game produced just 58 yards, aside from Khalfani Muhammad’s 73-yard TD run with 5:06 left.

“The thing we’ve got to be able to do is run the ball earlier,” Dykes said. “The inability to get much of a run game going has continued to bite us.”

*****

Rigsbee said there is no panic among the Bears, despite a six-game losing streak and winless Pac-12 record.

“The minute you start falling apart, it’s going to get 100 times worse,” he said. “The coaches have done a good job keeping us up, and definitely nobody wants it to get worse.”

*****

Dykes praised backup quarterback Zach Kline, who couldn’t wrestling the starting job from Goff last week in practice.

Asked to describe Kline’s reaction to the news that Goff retained the assignment, Dykes said, “Zach’s great. He’s the ultimate team guy. He’s been incredible.”

*****

Sophomore running back Darren Ervin had his role expanded, getting 10 carries for 37 yards.

At 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, Ervin “gives us something different,” Dykes said. “He’s a little bit more of a downhill runner, runs with his shoulders square, sets up his blocks probably best of any of our backs.”

Dykes said Ervin finally is healthy after being slowed by minor injuries to his ankle, shoulder and knee.

*****

Dykes wasn’t pleased with the defense, which allowed 40 points for the sixth time this season. But he said offense was the bigger culprit in the first half.

“We just couldn’t get anything going on offense,” he said. “We punted the ball nine times in the first half.”

The Bears were 5 for 14 on third down in the first half, often failing to convert short-yardage situations.

“We just need to execute when we need to,” Goff said. “We didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.”

*****

Not surprisingly, Dykes was impressed by UW running back Bishop Sankey, who rushed for a career-best 241 yards, 188 of them in the first half.

“He runs tough, he’s a hard guy to find. He reversed his field a couple times and got some big plays on us,” Dykes said. “At times, we played really good run defense. Then other times, they creased us.”

*****

Goff attempted at least 50 passes for the fifth time this season and, with 336 passing yards, had his fifth game of at least 300 yards.

*****

Muhammad’s 73-yard TD run was 40 yards longer than the previous longest run by the Bears’ this season.

*****

Freshman safety Cameron Walker had a career-best 10 tackles. He has 27 tackles the past three weeks.

*****

Sophomore wideout Chris Harper had six catches for 98 yards and sits at 99 receptions for his career. He has 58 catches this season.

Slot receiver Richard Rodgers also had a productive game with seven catches for 71 yards.

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  • CM

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_22142223/poole-california-golden-bears-d-sandy-barbour-takes

    I think it’s very informative to review Monte Poole’s excellent article from when Dykes was hired last year. As Poole explained, the hiring was highly suspect from the outset, and everything that has happened since has obviously only served to confirm what a massively unsuccessful risk Sandy took when she hired Dykes. Frankly, it is pathetic that this year’s team is so bad that they make last year’s squad look like Rose Bowl champs by comparison!

    Best line of the Poole article: “If Dykes is not superb, and quickly, as Harbaugh was upon taking the reins at Stanford, Barbour will need a hundred barricades to protect her from the blowback.

    If the new coach isn’t standing before us next December talking about his wildly successful Golden Bears, his office could get cold. Almost as cold as that of his boss.”

    One other thing: in another post someone commented that the university might be reluctant to fire Sandy because she is a “twofer.” But is Sandy actually open about her sexual orientation (like Kate Scott is for example)? I don’t remember seeing any articles that mention it. If Sandy has never made any public statements about it, I think it would be tough to classify her as a “twofer.”

  • CalBearister

    And CM joins the Lunatic Brigades.

    You and Monte Poole should go look up Harbaugh’s record his first season at Stanfurd and stop creating revisionist history.

  • Ray Finkle

    Harbaugh was 4-8 his first year, BUT he upset #1 USC as a 41 pt underdog. So harbaugh absolutely created a lot of buzz within the fanbase. When CAL has been a huge underdog, like last night(+28.5), everybody on the planet knows they have zero shot at an upset. Hopefully next year it will get much better. Enjoy your day guys.

  • rotfogel

    Harbaugh inherited a God awful team. Under Tedford, last year was considered a massive letdown based on the talent the team had/has. Also, you could see glimmers of hope when Harbaugh took over, I haven’t seen anything to suggest hope for the future under Dykes. The team is woefully unprepared each week. Each week, Cal doesn’t just lose, they got absolutely thrashed. The fundamentals of football are completely gone when I see the Bears play.

    The ultimate question is: What do you think the record of the team would be under Jeff Tedford? My guess is better than Dykes.

  • joey

    I just can’t say anymore about how bad Dykes is and how it is all his doing with bad hires and bad coaching. I’m sure it will get better but never as good as the average of success Tedford had.
    Can we just have more basketball articles and less football. Maybe more on soccer or swimming. Interviews with the cheerleaders, anything….

  • HeteroscedasticBear

    #5 – You’re sure that it will get better? What facts is your statement based on? Wishful thinking?

    There’s nothing about the program that gives me a glimmer of hope. The coaches are stubborn. They give empty words after every game and nothing has changed. The other pac 12 coaches are better than ours.

    It could get worse: 1) recruits will bail, 2) current players transfer and we fail to attract players like Joe Mixon.

  • http://Aol.com PeteBear

    They played better, except the DBs. You can’t coach speed. Take away the long Tds to the receivers and the game would have looked much closer. I was looking for progress, which is what we got, albeit not by leaps and bounds.

  • Juancho

    The line definitely looked better. Less penalties too i think.

    Dykes postgame. http://youtu.be/BZ-hvzhTuxM

    Based on his comments, would be interesting to put ourselves in klines shoes. If your dream has been to be an nfl qb. As much as you love one school, at what point does it become financially reckless to not transfer and see if you can hack it as a starter somewhere else to pursue the nfl.

    If he were your son what would you advise?

  • FromMikeWhiteEra

    Many of us have seen this movie before. While I’m not qualified to comment directly on our coach’s hires or techniques, what seems clear he is going to lose all momentum Tedford had in bringing talent to Cal. Lastly we have all had false hope since Joe Roth blessed Memorial Stadium., meaning the Rose Bowl will elude us again.

  • Juancho

    David fales the excellent qb for san jose state is probably going to be a first round pick this year.

    He started as kaperncks backup at nevada and realized he was never going to play so he left. A few years later hes at little old san jose state and expected to be a millionaire within a year.

    Sometimes having two good young guys means the best thing is for one to move on. If i were klines dad i would look at the fales situation and transfer at seasons end.

    What would you do?

  • Woj

    Ridiculous to assume I take more pleasure out of being right on my predictions game in and game out about the horrible Cal losses in 2013 than I would about a winning elite Cal program (which will NEVER happen under Barbour who cannot run a cost effective, academically adept, elite football program). If Cal ever succeeed at an elite level I’d pipe my criticism down. Unfortunately, 1-11 is straigth ahead (as I predicted a month ago). All Cal is right now is a doormat pathetic program chock full of excuses of why the filaure is happenining.

    And please drop that label that Cal is the best public academic university in the country. They WERE the best but no more. The same affirmative action policies that keeps Barbour employed today has lowered Cal to the ~#20 ranked public school in the country. Non leftist alums know this & Confirmed by U.S. News rankings if you care to look it up.

    Bottom line: I didn’t go to Cal (am the son of an alum) so I can see things clearer than most. And what I see is an expensive Head Coach who is passionless and not innovative who was promoted over his skill level and who brought in a D coordinator who was so lame at Stanford under Harbaugh he was canned only 4 years ago. The Cal team has quit on him and no hero recruits are going to jump on the Titanic for 2014 – not JuCos and not young 4star recruits. Why jump on the deck of the Titanic and lose every game. Dykes is 100% at fault for this. It’s his ship and he has great facilities with which to succeed.

  • http://Aol.com PeteBear

    I would realistically assess the probability I would even make an NFL roster, let alone become a starter star. I would have a serious talk with some pro scouts and former Qb to make sure I was being honest with myself. I would ask how long the average roster Qb plays or watches in the Nfl, I would ask myself if My life dream was to be a coach, assistant coach or maybe offensive coordinator, because that it almost certainly what door would be most open. I would ask myself whether football is the meaning of life. I would think about how many doors in the future would be opened by the Cal degree, vs those by San Jose state degree. After I did all that, I think I would do the rational thing and open my books and get ready for class next week at Cal. What would you do Juancho?

  • Juancho

    Agree with you if school and coaching or being a civil engineer is my dream i stay.

    If my dream is to play qb in college and work towards a shot at the nfl i transfer.

    Cal is a great school. But there are a lot of great schools. And to be in the nfl you only get that shot once. Whereas you can always go to school. And kline is from a well to do family so its not like without the scholarship he couldnt go to school.

    Harvard, duke, northwestern, vanderbilt, rice, notre dame. All good educations. Virginia, unc, wake forest, etc.

    Heck were not even the best combination of football and academics in the bay area or uc system.

  • Shaka

    It’s going to come down to $’s. Only that will change the losing culture allowed to seep into the Cal football psyche. Sandy should be called into question for creating this third class coaching mess, and wasting $’s. How will the mortgage for the stadium improvements be paid when alums and fans take a powder unless there is substantive change? I am getting too long in the tooth to go through another multi-year rebuilding program. Last night was the first time in memory when I had to hit the power off switch before game end. Got tired of seeing Sonny’s deer eyes. Got to feel for the players…

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Man, what a beautiful day outside! I’ve got a load of yardwork to do and you know what?…bitching about Cal football will do the team I support about as much good as me raking up my yard. So guess what, I’m gonna do the thing that is actually productive: rake my leaves.

    If any of the reactionaries can prove that online comments affect the program IN ANY WAY (positive or negative), please provide some evidence. Like if Kline announces his transfer next week and mentions advice he attained online or something. Otherwise, you are just wasting everyone’s time trying to prove how predictive you were about Dykes inevitable ineptitude or how upset you are that Cal is headed to 1-11 despite all the defensive injuries and youth which are just lame excuses.

    Sheet happens, this is a rebuilding year, everyone knows it except the reactionaries, where every year we must compete for Rose Bowl glory or the entire season is a complete waste and everyone should be fired, especially Barbour who is only still at Cal because she is a lesbian, despite the woman’s final four appearance, and almost every other team sport at Cal perennially competing for championships, including Men’s basketball.

    The Sky is not falling, but hella leaves are. It’s time to do something positive on this beautiful day, time to rake those leaves while thinking of upcoming Justin Cobbs’ led fastbreaks being finished by monster alley-oops to Jabari Bird!

    Go Bears!

  • Steve W

    Shaka, I turned off the set at half time and went blissfully to sand land. I am not an alum either, and I’m seriously beginning to question why I have been so emotionally attached to the program for 25 years. Most of the irrevocable errors with Cal football over the years have been committed by the Cal administration, most notably Bob Bockrath’s refusal to extend Bruce Snyder’s contract in 1991. And then there was the bungle of hiring Keith Gilbertson instead of Steve Mariucci. How bout going really cheap and hiring Tom Holmoe when Cal had established some forward momentum under Mariucci’s one season in 1996?

    History just keeps repeating itself with Cal football, but my answer to Juancho is that Kline should pack up and leave now while he has the chance. He clearly is not a fit in Dyke’s system, and neither is Goff for that matter. My prediction is that that Elite 11 kid from Arizona is the guy that’s Sonny truly wants. He is the future of Cal football, that is if he decides not to decommit.

  • Eric

    I said after the WSU game I would leave for the football season, and I meant it. I’ll be back in January 2014. Doesn’t I am not reading every post (love the passion, Juancho, as always) so there was something Woj said that was so far wrong that it required correction. Because it has nothing to do with football, I feel like I am not violating my pledge.

    Woj just posted Cal is the 20th ranked PUBLIC university. He stated: “And please drop that label that Cal is the best public academic university in the country. They WERE the best but no more. The same affirmative action policies that keeps Barbour employed today has lowered Cal to the ~#20 ranked public school in the country. Non leftist alums know this & Confirmed by U.S. News rankings if you care to look it up.”

    Cal IS the highest ranked public university, according to US News & World Report. I did look it up. I attach the link.

    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities

    It is tied for 20th overall, but every school ahead of it is a private university. And that is you think much of US News & World Report, which has many statistical flaws. Times Higher Education has Cal 8th in the world, and the best public university in the United States. Cal improved since last year, notwithstanding the continuing severe budget cuts.

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/oct/02/world-top-100-universities-times-higher-education

  • Kevin

    Rotfogel,

    Please describe for us the terrific talent we had last year that would cause any objective observer to conclude that last year was a massive letdown.

    Any year we did not win under Tedford was a letdown, but that’s just being a Cal fan. Cal did not have a talented offensive line last year, and last year’s talent is trying to get better, but only showing that they were not that talented to begin with. Would you actually say that we had a talented quarterback? His brother was talented, I’ll give you that. And would you say we had a talented running back? I would not consider Sofele particularly talented, but he is way better than the group of runners that Dykes inherited.

    On the other side of the ball, defense, talent means nothing, if 8 of your starters, your most talented, are all on the sideline watching the game on crutches.

    Please get realistic. Most any coach needs a majority of his players to be his own recruits, and he needs 3-4 years at least, before he should be judged as harshly as you and others are doing to Sonny Dykes.

  • wehofx

    I remain in the realist/optimist camp with BlakeStreet, CalBearister and GoldenBear49 – and a few others. imo, in a coupla years we’ll be vindicated – or not.

    Haven’t watched the dvr yet. But I will. That said, unless D makes a big improvement soon – as unfair as it is – it looks more and more like Buh will become a sacrificial lamb for the alumni and, more importantly, recruit’s perception of program.

    It’ll be most revealing to see how SD deals with Yenser, Buh and the entire D staff.

    As the realists have said, the OL and all the D frosh who are playing now, will yield huge positives for whomever is DC next year.

    Juancho, I am hopeful ZK sticks it out. He really does seem like real deal true Blue Bear. You never can tell what’ll happen in FB. I’d advise him to hit the books hard and get his CAL degree in 3/4 years and do what bridgford and R Wilson did at S Miss and Wisconsin. If he never starts at Cal, he can still have both a Cal BA and a year playing starting qb in Big Time D1 FB.

  • Juancho

    Its sad that were turning this blog into us versus them again just like we had during the tedford versus anti tedford days.

    I think the team has done poorly. Lots of injuries. Mediocre recruiting.

    I dont think dykes should be fired though. Way too early. He very well may make us competitive in a couple of years.

    My worry is recruiting. And whether were doing enough to pay off the stadium.

  • covinared

    why so much concern in this blog about one player that can’t seem to make it on the field? Like many high school hotshots, Zach got beat out. This is a Cal football blog, not a Zach Kline blog.
    Woj=Moron: posting things at 430 am after the game. You only prove how pathetic a life you have.
    We are having a bad year. I saw improvement last night. Our DB’s are weak. Like some here suggested he should do, Buh blitzed more, but when he did Washington exploited the consequential 1on1 coverage a few times and burned us. There were also a few missed tackles, but if we work too much on tackling in practice, we may lose some of the 3rd stringers that are starting now to injury. its not a luxury we can afford.
    Anyone who really knows the game knows its way too early to put so much blame on coaching. A lot of things have caused where we are now, not just poor coaching and the failure to groom Zach for the NFL.

  • Juancho

    In the other thread you asked me my thoughts on kline not getting the start. Now you are dissapointed kline is a topic. There was a qb battle last week remember?

    Almost unannmously everyone here said itd be right to give kline the start bc we had nothing to lose and to see what he can do. Almost unanimously everyone here including me said goff is probably better.

    Some positives

    The defensive scheme was much better. They did blitz a lot more and it worked. With better talent that could be good.

    Cam walker is the real deal. Hell be a starter for a while since hes a true freshman.

    We are set at qb. Even after the game dykes said its unique bc we basically have two really good qbs.

    Khalfanni will be much improved next year. So will the o line. They will have guys back and these guys are young. So its an assumption theyll be better.

    Harper and treggs with another year of weight teaining.

    The unanswered

    How many of the guys out this year are we being pollyanic to assume theyll be back? Are guys like moose jalil, scarlett, sebastian and mcclure guys that will fall into that perpetual injury bug category.

    With a great recruiting class we can be a bowl team next year. We are talent thin. We are not deep. And our top end guys are not conference top end guys.

  • Shaka

    Football underwrites most college sports, she went after baseball and rugby, what’s next? But what the hay, the care factor is slipping away based from all the apologists.

  • Easy Ed

    Bingo Juancho! I’d be a lot more concerned about the program if it were one year from now. The bad news is we suck, the good news is that we take our lumps and get experience for 2014.

  • David Swartz

    You didn’t have to tell us that you didn’t go to Cal, Woj. We figured that out from your idiotic posts.

  • http://sportskaster.blogspot.com sportskaster

    Shaka makes some great points. Agree that Sandy should be the one with the target on her back.

    Reality check:
    Will anything be done about Dykes? Doubt it. Sandy probably won’t be canned. And while they’re still paying off Tedford, they’re not going to fire Boob Dykes and have to pay off two coaches who aren’t coaching.

    I think we’re stuck in Dykes hell for a few years.

  • http://sportskaster.blogspot.com sportskaster

    One thing may save the Bears football program:

    Money talks. The big-money donors have the power to get things done. They’ve got to make their power felt–the power of the wallet. Without big-money donations, the program will shrivel up and die. The big donors, who do have considerable power, have to insist that Dykes be fired and be willing to pay the steep buyout fee.

    The big donors have threaten mutiny. That may get something done.

  • http://sportskaster.blogspot.com sportskaster

    Comment on last line of Juancho’s #20 post.
    He speculates that, with a boost from a good recruiting class, Cal could be a bowl team next year.

    What?

    How in the hell is Cal going to attract quality recruits with a record boasting one damn win?!

  • Woj

    by covinared on Oct 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    Woj=Moron: posting things at 430 am after the game. You only prove how pathetic a life you have.
    We are having a bad year. I saw improvement last night.

    Cal is having a bag half century man. A bad year?? What was 2012? 2011? and the 15 years in the bottom 3 of the conference the last 35 years. A bad year Hah!

    I woke up at 4am and checked the final score numnuts to see how right I was.
    I predicted 48-17 UW and final score was 41-17 UW. Sarkasian called off the dogs or it would’ve been 2+ Buhs again.

    And at 130pm today while you were blogging, I was watching Raiders football which is showing signs of positive life after years of ineptitude. At least the Raiders are turning it around unlike the Golden doormats under Dykes and Buh. I’ll save you time watching the last 4 games of this garbage Dykes is rolling out. Cal will lose to USB by 25, Utah by 20, Stanford by 35, and Colorado by 14. 1-11 as predicted.

  • http://www.howlandflat.com David Howard

    This is the worst Cal team I have seen. Son of an alum, grew up in Memorial Stadium, did 3 years in the rooting section. Nothing was worse than this crop. Goff gets yards but not points. Start Kline he scores, moves team better, can run. Goff over throws deep routes all the time. No defense at all. Some of this is coaching, some is lack of talent. With this record lack of talent will continue. Kline should leave. Need to get rid of the Twofer in the big office, too. There is an anti-football culture on campus which is mostly just a totalitarian indoctrination camp. Hell, I was there.

  • http://ContraCostaTimes East Coast Bear

    Least we forget between the academic woes and the poor results on the field this year, both of which can be fixed with time, the biggest problem facing the future of Cal athletics is how they will ever repay the massive debt from the football stadium repairs. It is like a A-Rod contract. It will not go away anytime soon.

  • 1brsfan

    I agree with those that are disappointed that Kline didn’t get a shot to start and it sounds like Dykes is sticking with Goff the rest of the season. I would have liked to see if Kline’s ability to play a real game and see what he can do. We struggle in the red zone as we have no running game and perhaps Kline’s ability to run could help. Even though Goff beat out Kline in practice I still believe that we need to try everything to see if our anemic offense can get a spark. Sometimes the guy that looks the best in practice is not the best in real games. I’ll still watch our last five games but I’d be more excited if Kline were to start just to see what he could do.

  • 707 Bear

    For the blog……

    What has happened to the offense?

    How do we go from scoring over 30 for the first three games to this?

  • Mountain Bear

    Dykes’ comment that Goff is the QB for the foreseeable future probably doesn’t mean much, since Dykes’ “foreseeable future” at Cal is *maybe* one more year.

    Kline will be the starting QB his Junior year, under a new coach, and Cal will return to winning when we finally kick Dykes to the curb. Until then, wins for the California football team will be very few and far between.

    It will be interesting to see how Dykes’ continual losing affects the stadium funding, won’t it?

  • rotfogel

    The players on the roster, specifically on defense:
    DeAndre Coleman – very unproductive, is not reaching his ceiling in his senior year. Dykes did not get the most out of him.
    The LBs. I know that Scarlet and Forbes were not playing, but the LB core shouldn’t be this bad. Nickerson, Jefferson and Barton have better than average talent. They look lost out there.

    The secondary. This was their least talented group, but to see them consistently fail on fundamentals has been very difficult to stomach. They look like a pee wee team. That is coaching, or lack thereof.

    Dykes has proven to me without a doubt he is in WAY over his head. If you can’t see that, that’s OK, I’ve been playing/watching football a long time. The team always looks lost out there. Under no circumstances should a team look lost play after play after play.

    AND DON’T TELL ME AFTER A COMPLETE BEATDOWN THAT THE TEAM ACTUALLY PLAYED BETTER. THEY STILL LOOK LIKE COMPLETE GARBAGE TO ME! NONE OF THE GAMES ARE EVEN REMOTELY CLOSE!

  • tcc

    There’s no excuse with these kind of stats. I don’t recall Harbaugh, Mora, Rodriguez etc when they were 1st year coaches had stats like this. Sonny and Co are not good coaches and whatever they are doing is not translating onto the field. Players are just not playing hard any more. Barbour needs to reassess her hire quickly.
    http://blog.sfgate.com/cal/2013/10/27/cal-football-inside-the-numbers-10-alarming-statistics/

  • covinared

    and, more importantly, its not fair to Kline!